Indians Now Third Largest Immigrant Population in U.S.

immigrant population

Hartaj Singh, originally from India, stands for the U.S. national anthem before becoming an American citizen on July 26, 2013 in New York City. (Getty Images)

By Indiawest

United States:The 1.86 million Indian immigrants who were living in the U.S. in 2011 represented the third-largest immigrant group by country of origin behind Mexico and China, according to a new study by the Migration Policy Institute.

The share of Indian immigrants among all foreign-born in the U.S. has increased from less than 0.5 percent in 1960 to almost 5 percent in 2011, the report said.

Immigrants from India are better educated, more likely to have strong English language skills and arrive on employment-based visas, and are less likely to live below the federal poverty line than the overall foreign-born population.

They are also more concentrated in working ages than immigrants overall and India-born men outnumber India-born women.

In 2011, India was the second most common country of origin for international students at U.S. institutions of higher learning, behind China, the study said.

According to the Institute of International Education, students from India accounted for 13 percent (100,270) of the 764,495 international students studying at U.S. institutions of higher learning during the 2011-12 academic year.

Almost one-third of all Indian immigrants in 2011 resided in just two states — California and New Jersey. More than a quarter of them lived in three major metropolitan areas — New York, Chicago and San Jose, Calif.

In 2012, more than 66,000 India-born immigrants were granted U.S. legal permanent residency status. There were 42,928 who were naturalized, representing about 6 percent of the 757,434 new U.S. citizens that year.

In early 2011, about two percent of all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. were from India.

The data for the study comes mainly from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey, the 2000 Decennial Census and Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics.